Grants & funding
Grants & funding 6 min. reading time

SDE subsidy

Knowledge base SDE subsidy

We understand better than anyone that many unfamiliar terms come along once you delve into the development of a large-scale solar roof or solar farm. One of these terms is the SDE subsidy. What is the subsidy? How does the subsidy work in 2023? What should you pay attention to when applying? We are happy to explain this and more to you on this page.

What is the SDE subsidy?

SDE subsidy stands for Stimulation of Sustainable Energy Transition. With this scheme, the Dutch government motivates sustainable energy solutions. It is not yet possible to realize a solar park or solar roof in the Netherlands without subsidies. This is why the government developed the SDE+ subsidy in 2011. The SDE is available for various energy solutions such as solar, geothermal, biomass and wind energy.

If you choose Novar as your business partner for your solar panels, you won't have to worry about the subsidy application. This is because we will arrange the SDE++ subsidy for your business investment in solar panels. With our expertise, we have already brought many SDE projects to a successful conclusion. All you have to do is rent out your roof or buy/lease solar panels. There are many subsidies and tax advantages for business solar energy.

From SDE+ subsidy to SDE++

Because we are increasingly taking CO2 emissions into account, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has decided to change the SDE+ subsidy scheme as of 2020. The new form, the SDE++ subsidy, has as an important new starting point to include the tons of CO2 emissions avoided. 

You apply for an SDE subsidy for a specific category. For solar panels you use the category 'Electricity', for solar thermal you use the category 'Electricity and Heat'. It is not possible to change afterwards, so it is important that you apply for the correct SDE++ subsidy.

The SDE rounds in 2022 and 2023

The SDE++ subsidy replaced the SDE+ subsidy in 2020. Whereas it was previously possible to apply for this subsidy twice a year, it is now only possible once. The SDE++ 2023 can be applied for from September. As in previous years, the round has a number of phases, with the phase limit increasing each time. There is more budget available in 2023 namely € 8 billion. Novar will arrange the application for the SDE++ with no obligation.

The basis for the scheme remains the same. For each technique, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) calculates the cost price based on a reference installation, with most projects being profitable. This cost price forms the basis for the SDE subsidy 2023 and is called the basic amount. The base amount determines the order in which applications are processed. 

It is therefore very important that you apply for the subsidy for the correct base amount. If you estimate the amount too high, it is possible that the subsidy pot is empty before the project is eligible. You will then be out of the running and will not be able to reapply until the following year. 

Since 2020, CO2 reduction has also been considered. So the ranking is not only on the basic amount, but also on this emission scale. The broadening to the SDE++ is a step-by-step process. A number of additional categories were included in 2021, but that does not complete this broadening. Additional categories have also been added this year; more are expected to be added in the coming years.

Need help applying for the SDE subsidy?

Could you use some help applying for the SDE subsidy? We are happy to help and can take the application off your hands. Without costs or obligations.

Please note! The earlier your request, the better we can process your request.

The new SDE++

The newly introduced SDE++ subsidy will definitely change a number of things. That creates a number of challenges. For example, how do you make sure you sign up for the right base amount in combination with a favorable CO2 emission? After all, if the amount is too low, a sustainable solution can no longer work out. An amount that is too high means you are last in line. At Novar, we keep a close eye on developments. 

Under the broadened scheme, there is more incentive on so-called solar carports. This new scheme also distinguishes between solar panels on land and solar systems on water. Projects on water will be considered sooner than large-scale projects on land. In addition, roof-mounted systems will be granted subsidies sooner than solar parks on land.

As part of Holland Solar, Novar, along with other partners, has a voice to the government. Through this channel, we advise the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate in the decision-making process regarding the subsidy.

SDE subsidy for solar parks

Applying for an SDE++ subsidy for large-scale solar parks is different from other sustainable projects. Two documents must be included: the permit from the local municipality approving the construction and proof that the solar park can be connected to the energy grid.

The environmental permit (WABO) is a requirement for building a solar park. This not only applies to solar parks on land, but this permit is also necessary for a solar park on water or a solar carport. The granted environmental permit must be irrevocable and we send it along with the subsidy application. 

In addition to the permit, it is important that the solar park can be connected to the energy grid. After all, we supply the generated power back to the grid. There is a chance that the grid operator will have to build an increase in load or even a new connection. It is therefore important that we contact the grid operator at an early stage. With a transport indication, we demonstrate that there is sufficient capacity to connect the solar park. 

Help with SDE subsidy applications

Applying for the SDE subsidy is not easy. The application requires an enormous amount of information. It is understandable that at that moment you would like to call in the help of an expert. Novar is therefore ready to support you with this SDE subsidy application. 

If you don't quite get there with your application, we're here for you! You provide the components, we do the grant application. After that, there are several possibilities. We can also support you with the remaining funding or take over the project to relieve you of further worries. Wondering what the most suitable solution is for you? Then get in touch with us. Together we will see to what extent we can relieve you of your large-scale challenge!

The development of a solar farm is a lengthy process. The subsidy application is only a small part of this process. It is possible to take on the entire development of a solar park together with Novar. We call this taking care of everything from A-Z. We do not only apply for the subsidy, but go through the entire process together.

Experiences of taking over an SDE project

Sometimes we succeed in obtaining the SDE subsidy, but the implementation proves challenging. In these cases, it is possible to transfer a project to Novar or to work together intensively. Together we can then ensure that the solar roof or solar park is realized. Projects can be transferred by means of a form drawn up by the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO). It is possible to sell the project as a whole or to remain part owner of the solar project. Do you have a project you need help with? We would love to do a cup of coffee with you contact us soon!

Want to receive SDE subsidies? Pay attention to this!

There are a number of aspects important in the SDE subsidy application:

  • A positive transportation indication
  • Permission from the owner of the location (if you are not the owner yourself)
  • A feasibility study (as of 0.5 megawatts)
  • Environmental Permit

A positive transport indication is a condition of the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) to process the SDE application. This transport indication indicates that there is sufficient capacity at that time to connect the solar park or solar roof to the energy grid. The grid operator in the relevant region issues this required indication. 

Are you yourself not the owner of the intended location? Then you need prior permission from the owner of the site to realize the installation. In addition, from 0.5 Megawatt it is mandatory to carry out a feasibility study (or have one carried out). Without a feasibility study, the RFO will not consider the application. 

A project on land requires an environmental permit. This is subject to the extensive WABO procedure. It takes an average of 26 weeks before this permit can be granted. Therefore, it is also enormously important to time this process well. Of course, there are also other aspects to consider when it comes to the SDE subsidy. We will be happy to relieve you of these!

The history of the SDE subsidy

In 2008, the SDE subsidy was created. From then on, the subsidy was available to both companies and individuals. In 2011, the SDE was converted to the SDE+ scheme. From then on, the scheme was no longer intended for individuals and was designed for economic efficiency. 

The first solar farm in the Netherlands was realized in 2011. Based on our ambition to make the Netherlands more sustainable, we entered the market with Solarfields in 2014. Large-scale solar parks were not really common in the Netherlands yet. Our first allocations for the SDE subsidy were made in the spring of 2016 and in 2018 we actually realized our first solar parks.

Does the SDE subsidy still have a future?

We see that rates for the SDE subsidy continue to fall. We expect this trend to continue over the next few years, after which the scheme will eventually expire. This would be great! Because that means that from then on it will be possible to build a profitable solar farm in the Netherlands without government support. 

This is not possible at this time. In fact, the subsidy is essential to build such a sustainable initiative. Our expectation is that we will need this subsidy until 2024. We hope that by then the prices for the technologies will have come down enough to build ourselves. It is an estimate, but something we are already seeing in other countries or with other technologies. For example, the first wind turbines are now being built without subsidies.

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